HC Deb 15 July 1952 vol 503 c1961
25. Mr. Grimond

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when the flat freight rate scheme for fish will be introduced.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

No draft of such a scheme has yet been published by the White Fish Authority.

Mr. Grimond

Is the Joint Under-Secretary aware that the promise that such a scheme for a flat rate would be introduced has been outstanding for some time, and that this is a matter of the greatest importance to fishermen in Scotland? If some such action were taken it would be of the greatest assistance to the fishing industry and to the reputation of the Authority.

Mr. Boothby

Does my hon. Friend appreciate that this proposal is included in the Report of the White Fish Authority? We have been talking about it for months and nothing has happened. What is my hon. Friend doing about it? It is a matter of the greatest urgency.

Mr. Stewart

We are doing what we can about it, and I hope that we shall very soon be able to make a statement.

Lady Tweedsmuir

Is it hoped to have the scheme presented to Parliament before the Summer Recess?

Mr. Hector Hughes

Does the Minister realise that he has had ample time to deal with this problem and that it is now the subject of a report by the White Fish Authority? He ought to be in a position to give a concrete answer to the House.

Mr. Stewart

I am sure the hon. and learned Member will not have forgotten the constitutional procedure involved here. This is a matter essentially in the first place for the White Fish Authority who, in due course no doubt, will present some scheme to the Secretary of State. We have not yet reached that point.